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Never Say Never

There have been many times in my life when I have said I would never do some thing or another. It could be something I had already done, but vowed to never to a second time, or it could be something that I believed in one moment would never be desirable to me in any future moment.

Here is a brief list of some things I vowed I would never do, and then did:

Wear make-up: As a child, I wrote and signed a declaration that I would never wear any make-up, and if I did succumb, my parents had permission to throw it all away. I never did under their roof, and I have tried to do it now, but I have stopped on my own, finding it to not feel true to myself. Ironically, my 14-year-old sister wears make-up every day and when I let her do me up, she does it better than I ever could.

Wear jeans: In middle school my brother and I both started wearing sweatpants from the boys section of the department store. These served me well in high school too, after my brother discovered the joy (or the cool factor?) of jeans. Jeans are a hard sell to someone who has been wearing soft pants every day. They pinched my legs everywear, and they felt heavy and stiff. In the summer they were too hot, but I was also refusing to shave my legs at that time of my life, so I just switched back to sweatpants, but allowed a few gypsy skirts and   uncool retro print pants for summer.

Trim my bush: Although I still vow never to get a Brazilian wax, I caved on this one rather impulsively, and have decided it is better. I have never felt ashamed of pubic hair, feeling more awkward about hairy underarms and legs…they were out there for all to see when I was keen at defying society’s standards for women to be practically hairless. The only people who would be seeing my pubic hair, wouldn’t care, or so I thought. I did not believe the first person who told me what a Brazilian was! And I was appalled at the landing strips of Playboy Bunnies, when I looked out of curiosity. I still fully believe that every person should wear their hair, both on their heads and on their body, however they see fit! I cannot believe any partner would expect or demand their partner to do something only for their own benefit. So like Caitlin Moran in How to Be a Woman, I believe in claiming my bush and being proud of it, so I can take the trim or not, but it is my choice completely.

Live in New York City: I visited NYC three times before I moved here. The first two times I had fun, but it was more fun to leave. My brother and sister-in-law had moved here, so I visited again for a third time. This time I had a friend living here as well, and my brother knew the place better, so I did much more awesome things. I soon saw how I could easily fit in among the many weirdos and maybe find some more like-minds. Then I took the plunge and here I am, paying way to much for everything, and having a blast!

Use a Kindle: I am a Luddite, and that is ok. I like my books with paper pages and covers, spines and bent corners. I wanted to resist the future, even as I revered Star Trek. My boyfriend bought me a Kindle, saying he knew I would never have gotten one for myself, but he thought I would use it. At the time, I loved him, so I believed him and gave the Kindle a chance. I am still skeptical, and find myself forgetting I have it, especially now that my boyfriend and I broke up. But, suffice it to say, I like it enough to keep it. Sometimes it is useful.

Get meditation: I tried to meditate in high school, but my mind was not tameable then. I just kept thinking about not thinking until I was all tied up in mental knots. The School for Practical Philosophy has presented me with something my mind could understand, but it was a trick! I meditated and now my mind is becoming tamed. If you set boundaries, the mind gets used to them, so now I am seeking meditation not as a mind, but as a being, a Self.

Although this list has its lessons too, there are other times I have thrown the “never” word down like a gauntlet, daring the world to test me. I have said I would never love anyone else, but X. When X left, I said I would never love anyone else, but Y! Stubbornly, I charged ahead. Y, too, exited stage left, I looked to stage right, for Z, so I could do it all again. I hope this is slowly starting to sink in as a silly way to love.

I am still tempted to make sweeping declarations, imagining myself as a king, raising my arm and addressing my devoted subjects, vowing that this, whatever it is, will never happen again! But I am not king of Never-Never Land. Although, I would love to say I will never make a mistake again, for there is a great sense of power felt when doing so, I  know will make mistakes again. My mistakes are what are teaching me all that I truly need to know.

Dear, dear Body,

Let me write to you next, for you are my vessel through which I can experience the world. You are literally my eyes and ears on life. Thank you for carrying me on this journey, and I hope we can continue thus for many turn of the wheel of time.

If you do not mind, I would like to address various individual parts of you at this time, to express my gratitude for the lessons I have learned or to ask for better guidance. Before I begin, I must let you know that I care deeply for your continued health and well-being, and I will always care for you to the best of my abilities. And now, I thank specific pieces of the whole…

To my Breasts:

Today, You are at the forefront of my attention, for I can feel you are swollen and tender. I  must admit that I do appreciate when you get bigger; it still amazes me and makes me proud. Although, you know I am always a fan of yours, I am concerned that you seem to swell and ache so often lately. Are you OK? This is the second time this month. I am aware that it is a strong full moon today, so perhaps you are sensitive to such forces. Please just know, I am aware of your condition and I hope everything is fine, so please keep giving me signs. Thank you for being so easy-going most of the time, and for never hurting my back!

To my Acne:

Oh, Acne, my old, old friend! I hope that this full moon business is affecting you as well, because you are back in force these days. Hormones are not your friends, are they? Well, I am trying to give you your space to heal, and I will throw in some tea tree oil every now and then, but I wish I understood you better. If I can help further, let me know. But I have been meaning to tell you that I am extremely grateful that you have always protected me from vanity. Ever since we first started hanging out in fourth grade, I have been aware that perfect skin does not make me ugly or unlovable. It took me a long time to realize that, and you had to let me figure that out on my own, didn’t you!? Well, I am sorry this thank you is so long overdue, I am very glad that I feel comfortable every day to go out in the world without loads of make-up to cover you up. I have found my true beauty thanks to you, and for that I love you.

To my Feet:

This is a quick shout out to my glorious feet, who I have finally started to listen to on the subject of high heels! I hear you now. You hate them! Ok, duly noted…no more uncomfortable shoes that we can barely walk in! Aren’t even some of them comfortable for a short time? And how to you feel about those cute wedge sandals I have? OK, thanks!

To my Body Hair,

I want to speak to you as a collective, even though I know there are many differences among you…texture, color, location… I get it. But this is just an overall group thank you, for first of all, being blonde (big help to me there!), and mostly for being so reluctant to leave my body. I know you are very sensitive about the subject of hair removal, so I just want to say that I actually am very glad you hate the whole process. So do I! I want you to stay around for awhile, but if you get in my way, I will be as gentle as I can in asking you to leave. I just need some personal space sometimes from you. But you will always be welcome to come back, as fast as you always do. And let me just say, to all of you making up my Bush, I will never ask you to leave…that is not in the cards for this body. I would miss YOU too much! So anyway, thank you for helping us all reach a happy balance with our co-existence!

Ok, my beautiful Body, I will write to you again, but sleep well tonight and don’t drink too much wine tonight!



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